Parmalat confirm interest in Dairy Farmers

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 26th May 2008

Parmalat Australia Limited has confirmed their interest in purchasing Dairy Farmers via a proposed joint venture with leading Australian milk processor, Murray Goulburn Co-Operative Co. Limited.

The Italian dairy firm indicated that the opportunity to purchase was currently being reviewed in conjunction with Murray Goulburn, but stressed that the process was still at a preliminary and non binding stage. According to an ACCC letter to market participants, the joint venture would split Dairy Farmers into two companies with each operating in a different sector of the dairy industry and separately managed.

The two companies have now officially filed an application with the ACCC to seek clearance for the proposed takeover, with an announcement from the ACCC due on July 17.

The joint venture proposal adds to the growing list of potential buyers for the Australian dairy co-operative, with Fonterra and National Foods already having sought ACCC approval. Formal responses from the ACCC with regard to Fonterra and National Foods are due in early July.

Dairy Farmers, whose brands include Dare, Ski and Coon, is an Australian company owned by a group of about 2000 farmers, and they have been seeking offers since their announcement that they were “on the market” in March this year.